Dante Gabriel Rossetti; Theodore Watts-Dunton. Henry Treffry Dunn (1838-1899). 1882. Gouache and watercolour. 21 3/8 in. x 32 1/4 in. (543 mm x 819 mm) overall. © National Portrait Gallery, London. NPG 3022. Purchased 1939. According to the catalogue entry on the gallery website, Dunn shows Rossetti reading proofs of his Ballads and Sonnets (1881) to his close friend and confidante, Watts-Dunton, in the drawing room of Rossetti's London house at Cheyne Walk. Dunn described the room as:

one of the prettiest, and one of the most curiously-furnished and old-fashioned sitting-rooms that it had ever been my lot to see. Mirrors of all shapes, sizes and designs, lined the walls, so that whichever way I gazed I saw myself looking at myself. What space remained was occupied by pictures, chiefly old, and all of an interesting character. The mantelpiece was a most original compound of Chinese black-laquered panels, bearing designs of birds, animals, flowers and fruit in gold relief, which had a very good effedl, and on either side of the grate a series of old blue Dutch tiles, mostly displaying Biblical subjects treated in the serio-comic fashion that existed at the period, were inlaid. The fire-grate itself was a beautifully-wrought example of eighteenth century design and workmanship in brass, and had fire-irons and fender to match. And in one corner of the room stood an old English china cupboard, inside of which was displayed a quantity of Spode ware. [17-18]

The gallery's catalogue entry points out that the picture above Watts-Dunton's head is Rossetti's double portrait of his mother Frances and his sister Christina (which is also in the gallery's collection). — Jacqueline Banerjee

Related Material


Dante Gabriel Rossetti; Theodore Watts-Dunton. National Portrait Gallery. Web. 24 October 2017.

Dunn, Henry Treffry. Recollections of Dante Gabriel Rossetti and his circle (Cheyne Walk life). New York: James Pott & Co.; London: Elkin Mathews, 1904: 9-10. Internet Archive. Contributed by University of California Libraries. Web. 24 October 2017.

Created 24 October 2017